Odisha chit fund scam: Court extends AT Group director’s CBI custody

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 28:

Special Judicial Magistrate (SJM) court of CBI, Bhubaneswar has once again extended the remand period of the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group director Sambit Khuntia by 10 more days for further interrogation by the CBI in the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha.

The court decision came after Khuntia, who was in the CBI custody for the last two days, was produced before the court today after his remand term ended today.

Sambit Khuntia, Former AT Group director
Sambit Khuntia, Former AT Group director

The CBI counsel requested the court to take the accused for the  third time on a 14-day remand.

The SJM court had earlier allowed the Central agency to take Khuntia on a 10-day remand for interrogation on August 17, the term of which ended on August 26 . The court had granted extension of his remand for two more days on August 26.

According to sources, the CBI wants to interrogate the AT Group chief, Pradip Sethi in the presence of  the directors of his company Jyotiprakash Jaiprakash, Sambit Khuntia and the company accountant, Shrikrushna Padhi.

All four are currently under CBI’s custody.

The idea is to elicit crucial information regarding the modus operandi of the AT group, the biggies who received illegal gratification from the company and of course the money trail.

While, a 10-day remand was granted for the custodial interrogation of Sethi and Padhi on Monday, Jyotiprakash was sent to CBI custody on Sunday. The central agency seems to have gathered crucial information from Khuntia pertaining to the multi-crore chit fund scam.

Khuntia during his interrogation was quizzed about the trade links of AT while he was a director of the ponzi firm, sources said.

Khuntia was arrested by a CBI team on August 16 following a raid at his residence located at the Bata Mangala Housing Board colony in Khordha district.

During the search operation recently, the CBI had seized 31 computers and several important documents from the AT Group office in the state capital.

The investigating team had also seized several incriminating documents, hard drives and photographs of some city-based builders and politicians from the office.

The police has so far confiscated properties of the AT group amounting to Rs 410 crore that include 11 expensive cars, 159 buildings, 242 acres of land and a bank balance of Rs 2 crore.

The AT Group is among 44 firms under the CBI scanner for duping thousands of investors in the state.

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1 Comment

    I think CBI is moving in the correct direction and can get a lot of information from Sambit Khuntia, It is not yet understood why the Commissionerate police could not arrest Sambit Khuntia!

    Thanks to some citizens, who gave all details about Sambit Khuntia including the location of his house, his expected hiding places, about the CCTV cameras fitted all around his house to CBI in time which helped CBI to arrest him without any hindrance.

    Thanks a lot to some responsible citizens who gave all the data to CBI about Jyotiprakash Joyprakash well in advance and he is the person who holds highest number of shares in all nine companies of Artha Tatwa Groups after Pradeep Sethy.

    Thanks to the citizens who gave the details of the persons who were in possession of three laptops of Pradeep Sethy to CBI and CBI immediately acted and took all laptops to its custody, It is expected that Pradeep Sethy has stored a lot of video, voice recordings, data of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, builders who have nexus with his company.

    It is suspected that Artha Tatwa Chit Fund Company was operating 170 (One Hundred & seventy) Lockers in different branches in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in HDFC Bank and these lockers were opened in the name of employees of Artha Tatwa. The details of these lockers are available with the Artha Tatwa accountant named Srikrushna Padhi (who is in the custody of CBI at present) and former HDFC employee of Bhubaneswar branch (Manager) named Chipak Panda (this employee was transferred to Kolkata immediately after the arrest of Pradip Sethy). I feel that HDFC and some other private banks operating in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are also directly or indirectly involved in this mega scam.

    Gradually people are taking interest to meet CBI at Bhubaneswar and they are providing very important documents which may help CBI in its investigation. I am requesting people to meet CBI team at Unit -VIII, opposite to Passport Office, Bhubaneswar and help them to do proper investigation by providing them with information and documents. Contact Number of CBI Bhubaneswar: 06742561567.


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